What is Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. It is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol (sweetener) found in many fruits, berries and vegetables and produced in small amounts by the human body. It has the same sweetness as sugar but with fewer calories and none of the negative tooth decay or insulin release effects of sugar.
Xylitol is recommended by dentists, medical doctors, periodontists, pediatricians, and many health organizations and health professionals as a sweetener for anyone concerned with dental health, upper respiratory health, and sugar consumption.
Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat. Sugars feed bacteria in your mouth causing them to multiply and produce acids. These acids then attack the tooth enamel causing cavities to form. Since bacteria are unable to metabolize Xylitol, this acid attack is stopped.
Xylitol does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth and helps to increase salivary flow, thus reducing plaque buildup as well. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90 percent. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. With Xylitol, your mouth is protected between brushing and flossing.
Use of Xylitol has demonstrated not only a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay; it has also shown the arrest and even some reversal of existing dental decay. Xylitol has been shown to also help repair damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. However, saliva that has Xylitol causes an increase or rise in amino acids and ammonia as well as the plaque PH and the result being, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to move into those parts of enamel that are weak, causing soft, calcium-deficient enamel to begin to harden.
Xylitol has also been shown to reduce the bacteria which cause periodontal disease, sinus and ear infections.
How to use Xylitol
Studies have shown that decay causing bacteria are passed from parents to their newborn children, starting the growth of these bacteria in the child. Regular use of Xylitol by mothers has been demonstrated to significantly reduce this bacterial transmission, resulting in fewer cavities for the child.
Where can find Xylitol Products be found?
Xylitol products can be found in some of the items that you use or buy on a regular basis. Xylitol is found in toothpaste gel; nasal spray, oral rise; mints, candy, gum, vitamins, and sugar substitutes. Sugar substitute granules can be used in your coffee, tea, Kool-Aid, cereal or any other foods that you might regularly add sugar to. Look for Xylitol sweetened products that encourage chewing or sucking to keep the Xylitol in contact with your teeth. It is important to note that Xylitol must be listed as the first ingredient to be effective at preventing decay.
Who should use Xylitol?
Xylitol should be used by anyone with teeth that have cavities or white or brown spots on their teeth. In addition, anyone with a family history of decay would also benefit from the use of Xylitol, as well as those who suffer from dry mouth or are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
How much and how often?
Studies show that 5 to 10 grams of Xylitol per day are very effective, and preferably should be used 3 to 5 times every day. It’s easy to keep track of your Xylitol intake since “all Xylitol” mints and gums contain about one gram of Xylitol in each piece. Use after meals in the form of chewing gum and mints or breath spray, as well as in the morning and at bedtime in the form of toothpaste or mouthwash.
Xylitol is safe, and convenient
Xylitol is safe for everyone, and has been given the safest rating for food additives by the World Health Organization. It’s convenient to use because it comes in so many of the products that we already buy or use in our everyday lives. Ask your dentist or doctor at your next visit about the benefits of Xylitol, you’ll be thankful you did.
The Dentists’ Office provides dentistry for your entire family and is proud to announce that we are now scheduling patients for our new Pediatric Dentist. Please call our office to schedule an appointment for you or any member of your family.